By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
After having been awarded two hats by The Age’s Good Food Guide for the last two years running, head chef Robin Wicken and the Royal Mail Hotel will be unveiling a new restaurant experience within the hotel in October.
The restaurant, Wickens at the Royal Mail, will be designed by Nicholas Byrne of Byrne Architects, a Melbourne-based studio that specialises in incorporating the surroundings of a building into the design.
“In the design of the new restaurant, our purpose is to capture the essence of Dunkeld, the Grampians and the rich history of the Royal Mail Hotel while ensuring the restaurant blends into the property’s grounds and the broader Victorian landscape,” Byrne stated.
The overall concept of the new restaurant space is to feel that you are dining in nature. Floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Mount Sturgeon and Mount Abrupt will help encapsulate this ambience, along with a winding bush trail through the native gardens that connect the hotel and the new restaurant; and Australian hardwoods, sheepskins and sandstone sourced from Dunkeld’s local quarry.
“This is a once in a career opportunity to inject a deeper identity into the work my team and I have been doing at the Royal Mail,” said Wickens.
“The garden and the seasons are key elements in determining the dishes we create, and from October the new dining space will add to the overall experience; making an even stronger connection between the land and the dining table.”